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Top Places to See Pandas

Few things are as delightful as observing the wonders of the Giant Panda first hand. Visitors can spend hours watching the playful cubs, or, they can volunteer and provide hands on help to the pandas’ keepers. China Culture Tour team offers flexible tours to enjoy the Panda journey. You can be a volunteer for Giant Panda in Bifengxia Panda Base or Dujiang Weir Giant Panda Research Centre for one day or days. Moreover, we offer adventure tours to discover the wild pandas and photograph in the primitive forests. Bifengxia Panda Base(about three hours driving from Chengdu downtown) is searching for Panda Volunteers to help the pandas! Will you be the one?

The best places to see giant pandas in China are, of course, in Chengdu, the hometown of giant pandas. There are four panda reserves in Chengdu.

Where to go? Continue to read and you will get the answer.

We frequently visit the reserves to hone our knowledge and get the latest information. Check the insider’s recommendation and touring tips.

1. Chengdu Panda Base — Most Popular to See Pandas

Chengdu Panda

Pandas: about 50
Time needed: half a day
Activities: seeing pandas, especially cubs, watching panda breeding movies
Best for: tourists who have limited time, and are only interested in seeing pandas
Location: Chengdu city outskirts, 40 minutes by car, easily accessible

Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base, or Chengdu Panda Base for short, is the best place to see giant pandas if your time is limited.
You are likely to visit many giant pandas of various ages, including baby pandas (between Sep. and Nov.).
Make sure you arrive there in the early morning (before 8 am at best). Otherwise, expect to see a flood of tourists and inactive pandas. Feeding time is 8:30–10 am.
If you don't want to just follow the crowds, and queue for an hour for only 15 seconds taking pictures, then travel with a private guide.
Our experienced guides know exactly where and when to take you to see the best sights and maximize your time for this experience of a lifetime.
Without a guide, you will be uninformed about the habits of the pandas and the efforts of the organization and it will feel like you are walking around a zoo.

2. Dujiangyan Panda Base — Handiest Volunteer Programs

Dujinagyan Panda

Pandas: about 20
Time needed: 1 day
Activities: panda viewing, panda keeper program
Suitable for: those who want to experience a 1-day panda volunteer program
Location: Dujiangyan Prefecture, 67 km (41 mi) or 1½ hours from Chengdu

If you want to join a 1-day panda keeper program, Dujiangyan Panda Base is a great option.
In the volunteer program, you can see pandas close up, help clean the panda enclosures, make food for them, and feed the pandas.
Only 60 people per day can have this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
We, as the first tour operator to arrange group tours for the Panda Keeper Program at Dujiangyan, have visited the base extensively and know how to maximize your opportunity to get close to the pandas.

3. Wolong Panda Center — Variety of Programs and Habitat Hiking

Wolong Panda

Pandas: about 30
Time needed: 2 days
Activities: visiting pandas, taking care of giant pandas, red pandas, and baby pandas, hiking
Best for: people who want to take part in the volunteer program (taking care of pandas) and see the wild habitat of pandas
Location: southwest Wenchuan County, 121 km (75 mi) west of Chengdu

Want to have the rare experience of entering a red pandas' enclosure, and feed them, touch them, and photograph them?
Eager to hold an adorable panda cub and feed it? (Can you imagine how green your friends will be with envy when you do that?) Head to Wolong Panda Center.
This panda sanctuary is one hour further from Chengdu than Dujiangyan’s, but it is less crowded and offers more activities.
Apart from the giant panda keeper program, you can join in programs involving red pandas or baby pandas (an exclusive experience only offered by us). See details about Where and How Can I Hold a Panda?
Moreover, you will have a chance to be the pandas' private guest and explore pandas’ nightlife without tourists and noise, and to hike in the lush forest habitat of wild giant pandas.

4. Bifengxia Panda Base — Longer, Less-Busy Programs

Bifengxia Panda Base

Pandas: about 20
Time needed: 2 days or more
Activities: seeing pandas, taking care of pandas
Best for: aficionados who want to take part in a volunteer program (taking care of pandas)
Location: Ya’an City, 150 kilometers (93 miles) southwest of Chengdu

Bifengxia Giant Panda Base is an option if you want to visit pandas in a less crowded environment due to fewer visitors. This option means you’ll have a longer drive and it’s more expensive.
It is ideally suited to those who want to take part in a panda keeper program that lasts for 2 days or more.
Your trip can be enriched with a beautiful walk along the gorge, which has lots of water, waterfalls, hanging coffins, and green vegetation.


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